Friday, December 18, 2009

Webinar: The Future of ANGEL

At these webinar sessions, Blackboard will provide an update on the promises that were made at Angel Users Conference in May ‘09 and will provide some additional detail about organizational influences the ANGEL and Blackboard teams have had on one another. Then, they will focus on the road ahead for ANGEL clients such as USP. They will share how they have been listening to client concerns and what their current plans are for ANGEL 8.0 and beyond.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 11:00 am EST - Register Now!
Thursday, February 11, 2010, 2:00 pm EST - Register Now!
Thursday, February 18, 2010, 1:00 pm EST - Register Now!

You will receive email confirmation with all information needed to participate.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Creatively Engaging Online Students: Models & Activities

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Join us to view this recorded webinar by Dr. Curt Bonk, Professor of Education, Indiana University. According to the program...
Dr. Bonk addresses growing concerns about a lack of engagement in the online classroom. Student dissatisfaction, apathy and, increasingly, attrition threaten to derail the progress of online education at many schools. During this presentation, you’ll discover how to address those problems, and how to build proven engagement-boosters into your online programs.
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Time: 1pm to 2pm
Place: FOW 110, 4101 Woodland Building

  • Learn how to address student learning preferences online.
  • Discover ways to motivate students in online environments.
  • Take home a minimum of a dozen ideas you can use in your classrooms and programs.
  • Get the facts on two unique ways of thinking about teaching and learning in online environments.
  • Hear about a wealth of low-risk, low-cost, low-time activities.
  • Create a vision of what you would like your classroom to be, and develop a plan to achieve it.
  • See how to use the “R2D2 model” for thinking about diverse learning needs.
  • Understand how the example you set online can help (or harm) your students.
  • Learn to build peer and expert feedback into your online classes with techniques like critical friends and cross-institutional mentoring.
  • Find out how to successfully prepare students for the rigors of online learning.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Campus Technology 09 Virtual Conference - Free!

Campus Technology is hosting a Virtual Conference. Mark your calendar for Thursday, December 3, 2009 from 10am to 6pm EST.

Highlights of the conference include:
  • Virtual Keynote: The Ed-Tech Journey: Are We There Yet? by Josh Baron, Director of Academic Technology and eLearning, Marist College
    Josh Baron considers some of the reasons why technology has not been the "silver bullet" that education institutions had hoped for, but more importantly, he looks at how we, as educators, can change the direction of our ed-tech journey and chart a course towards a future where technology becomes a catalyst for a true transformation of the educational experience.
  • Five Elements of Exceptional Technology Enhanced Learning by Stephen Laster, Chief Information Officer, Harvard Business School
    This session gets back to basics by concentrating on the creation of instructionally sound experiences that leverage the power and reach of today's collaborative technologies.

  • Lessons and Outcomes from University of Minnesota's Future Classrooms by Jeremy Todd, Classroom Management and Linda Jorn, Digital Media Center, University of Minnesota
    The University of Minnesota explored the future of classroom design by constructing two pilot classrooms designed as student-centered, integrated, flexible learning spaces, with goals including stimulating interest in innovative classrooms and demonstrating new flexible classroom construction techniques.

  • Immersive Technology Platform Standards: Sharing Your World by Aaron E. Walsh, Director, Boston College; Julian Lombardi, Duke University; John Lester, Second Life, Linden Labs; and Jordan Slott, Sun Microsystems
    This session examines emerging standards for immersive environments, and considers the issues technology and academic leaders on campus should take into account as they explore the amazing opportunities of immersive education.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Angel Introduction Screencast Series

Thanks to Eva Agbada, Department of Information Science, J.W. England Library, we can now offer a series of introductory screencast videos on the Angel Learning Management System. You can find links in the Angel Academic Technology Group under Content. The first two dealing with "Getting Started" and "Logging In" are also available on the Angel Home page under Announcements.

Remember for Angel support, use the Access USP Angel Help Desk.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Global Learning Framework

I'd like to share this thought provoking presentation with you. Richard Close, CEO of The Chrysalis Campaign, gave this at the recent Pennsylvania Distance Learning Association (PADLA) at the Penn State University Malvern campus. Do we need a learning management system (LMS) when Google is the "Global LMS"? [Run this full screen by clicking the icon on the lower right.]

Social Media: Living Statistics Scoreboard

See just how fast social media is growing with this Social Media Counter by Gary Hayes...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Educause 2009 News: Future of Angel and More!

In observance of National Distance Learning Week, I'll be reporting on my experience attending Educause 200 in Denver last week. Attend this webinar and learn about the future of Angel now that Blackboard is in control. I'll also touch on other news of interest including Blackboard's new mobile solution, e-portfolios, Moodle, Google Wave and more.

Tune into the next episode in our Academic Technology Webinar Series on Friday, November 13, at Noon. University students, faculty and staff can register on our Campus Portal or Angel Learning System.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Screencast: Basic Introduction to Angel

View this 30 minute Basic Introduction to Angel:

For help with Angel, visit the USP Angel Help Desk.

Screencast created by Eva Agbada
Department of Information Science
J. W. England Library
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Fall 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

National Distance Learning Week: November 9-13, 2009

2009 NDLW
The purpose of National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) is to generate greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning, including K-12, Higher Education, Corporate and Military, while recognizing leaders and best practices in the field.

For schools, colleges, and corporations to conduct local events during NDLW to celebrate and promote the field of online learning.

November 9th - 13th, 2009

Professionals engaged in the day-to-day practice of distance learning (schools, colleges, corporations, military) and individuals and organizations providing products and services being distributed via online, video conferencing and satellite technologies.

For more information on NDLW contact USDLA at 1.800.275.5162.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

E-Textbooks: Are We There Yet?

Is this the year of the e-book? Almost everyone has heard of the Amazon Kindle by now and more news about e-book readers seem to come out every day. Barnes and Noble is about to launch their own e-book reader (Image Via Gizmodo). Amazon is releasing a new Kindle for use in Europe. Sony has been in the e-book game for years and continues to release new models, e.g., a wireless model is due this holiday season. However, the most popular e-book reader may already be in your pocket -- the iPhone.

While most e-book news tends to be focused on the readers, how about the e-books themselves or, more important for academia, e-textbooks? It's one thing to flip through black and white novels on a monochrome Kindle and another to do research and take notes using a library of colorful large format textbooks on a portable electronic device. When will our students trade in their 40 pound backpacks for a thin, light weight, colorful e-book reader? Are we there yet?

Find out by tuning into the next episode in our Academic Technology Webinar Series on Friday, October 23 at Noon. Get the details on our Campus Portal or Angel Learning System.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blogging at the University of the Sciences and Beyond

Blog is a shorthand term that means “Web log”, an online, chronological collection of personal commentary and links. It's very easy to create and use blogs anywhere there is an Internet connect. This form of Internet publishing has become an established communications tool and an alternative to mainstream media publications.

Attend our Academic Tech Webinar Series on blogging on Friday, October 9. You "attend" from the comfort of your own office via GoToMeeting webinar software. You'll be able to view my PC's desktop and hear me as I present, demonstrate and answer your questions. You can participate via a PC headset (highly recommended), phone, or just "lurk and learn" while eating your lunch. If you don't have a headset and don't want to make a toll call, you can ask questions using text chat.
  • Learn about the history of blogging
  • Learn how to find, subscribe and read blogs
  • Learn how to setup a free personal blog using Blogger and Feedburner
  • Learn how to contribute to the USP Experts blog
  • Learn how to setup a blog on Angel
  • Learn the benefits of blogs in education and research
Find out more and register on our Campus Portal or Angel LMS.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Social Bookmarking using Delicious

Delicious is a free social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.

Use Delicious to collect links as you research your next project, or collect links on the topics you teach to share with your students. Once you have bookmarked ("tagged") some great websites for your students, just paste a link like on your Angel course page. You never have to touch that link again, and your students will always see your latest list of links.

Here is a great video explaining how Delicious works (from

Here is the link to bookmarks I collect on e-learning technology:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Academic Tech "Lurk & Learn" Webinar Series

We plan to host an informal webinar series for faculty and staff on various aspects of academic technology, especially e-learning. You "attend" from the comfort of your own office via GoToMeeting webinar software. You'll be able to view my PC's desktop and hear me as I demo various technologies. You can participate via phone, a PC headset, text chat or just "lurk and learn". I can even turn over the control of the mouse to you or invite you to share your desktop.

Look for broadcast emails soon with invitations to webinars on various topics including: Angel tips and tricks, Blogging, Delicious (Social Bookmarking), Google Apps for Education, GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar, Mediasite lecture capture, Pencasting, Podcasting, Prezi, Second Life, Skype, Twitter and more.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Requesting Classroom A/V Tech Support

Starting with the new fiscal year this July, the University's hard working AV technicians, Bill Horton and Clifford Greer, were officially transferred to the Academic Technology Department from the Library.

To avoid confusion about how to request classroom audio/visual services, here are your new choices:

Scheduling classroom AV technology (e.g., to reserve a laptop & projector cart or to schedule technical assistance in advance of your class time)
Emergency classroom assistance (e.g., you are at the podium in front of students and the projector does not work)
  • Phone: call the Technology Help Desk at x7575 and press 3
Our new policy will help to improve our service by reducing administrative burdens for Bill and Clifford while reaching them more quickly in an emergent situation.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Institute on Innovation in Training and Teaching

Mark your calendar: September 10th and 11th from 9 am – 4 pm.

Drexel’s 2nd Annual Institute on Innovation in Training and Teaching will offer 16 workshops on topics ranging from web-based surveying and e-books to lecture capture and online collaboration. This year, there will be shortened sessions and double the offerings to give attendees an expanded look at new technologies! View a complete list of sessions and to register online.

You don't have to be a Drexel faculty member to attend. I attended this last year and know that they run a great program -- well worth it for new faculty, especially those who are new to teaching online.

Monday, August 17, 2009

2009 Faculty Technology Satisfaction Survey

The Executive Summary of the 2009 Faculty Technology Satisfaction Survey and the full survey results are available on the Campus Portal.

The lack of training opportunities appears to be the main reason for dissatisfaction with campus academic technology and is noted across all applications. Improving faculty training and support opportunities is a top priority for Academic Technology. The new Angel Help Desk featuring 24/7/365 live phone and chat support was just announced. We are also working with the Mayes College and the Teaching & Learning Center to provide a regular series of classroom and online training for faculty. (Note that the Faculty Enrichment Workshops with a focus on technology is happening this Wednesday.)

Faculty appear to be most appreciative of the available classroom technology, with the caveat that certain rooms are still in need of an overhaul. Fortunately, end or year funds have already been spent to implement significant upgrades to Rosenberger (2 new projectors), the STC (6 new screens, lecture capture), Griffith (2 lecture capture systems), and Mayes (video conferencing and lecture capture). Also, extensive renovation of 4 classrooms in 4500 Woodland is almost complete.

Thanks go to the faculty who completed the survey. We welcome your suggestions for improving support throughout the year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Angel Help Desk

The University is committed to providing a student-centered learning environment and outstanding student service. One of the keys is providing anywhere, anytime access to learning, so it's critical that we also offer round the clock support to our students and faculty. To that end, we have partnered with Embanet ULC to provide a dedicated 24/7/365 toll-free telephone number, live online chat, email and a self-help frequently asked questions support portal for our Angel Learning Management Suite.

Embanet, an integrated, full service provider of online learning services to schools, colleges and universities across the United States and Canada, brings to USP the technical support and student service expertise of a team that has years of experience working with Angel Learning. University technology staff are working closely with Embanet to offer the best possible support experience.

Our new Angel Help Desk portal is available now to our students, faculty and staff.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Faculty Enrichment Workshops

Please register for workshops with Mary Rafferty (Ext. 1168,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

9:30 – 10:00
Finding a balance in your job including time for yourself and scholarship.
Phyllis Blumberg - RH 101

10 – 11:00
Basic course design: Objectives and syllabi.
Phyllis Blumberg - RH 101

11 – 12: 00
How do we teach these millennials? Who are our students? How do they learn and what support do we offer them?
Gerald Hoefling, Roxanne Evans - RH 101

1:00 – 3:00
Introduction to teaching and assessing so students will learn more.
Phyllis Blumberg - RH 101

3:00 – 4:30
A new way to organize and integrate a course using organizing schemes (Bring an existing course syllabus, if you have one).
Phyllis Blumberg - RH 101

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - Focus on Technology

Note: Some sessions are held concurrently

8:30 – 10:30
Introduction to Angel.
Jeff Swain - STC 148

9:00 – 10:00
How to meet when you or your students are not on campus. Using webinar and videoconferencing technology.
Danny Benau - STC 147

11:00 – 1:00
Grade book function on Angel.
Jeff Swain - STC 148

1:30 - 3:30
Advanced functions on Angel.
Jeff Swain - STC 148

2:00 - 3:00
AV classroom support, using computer as whiteboard, etc.
Bill Horton & Cliff Greer - RH 101

3:30 - 4:30
What is new and what is currently available in academic technology at USP.
Rod Murray - STC 148

Thursday, August 20, 2009

10: 00 – 11:30
General education: What it means here and how to get a course approved for it. (Bring syllabi for courses you want to get General Education approval if you have them) .
Roger Ideishi, Fred Schaefer, Phyllis Blumberg - STC 148

Monday, August 24, 2009

10:00 – 12:00
Creating good multiple choice questions and how to understand the results (Bring some questions you developed, if you have them) .
Jean Scholtz, Linda Robinson - RH 101

2:00 - 4:00
Teaching students to have more responsibility for their learning.
Phyllis Blumberg RH 101

Thanks to Phyllis Blumberg for organizing these Faculty Enrichment Workshops!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Google @ School: Step by Step Guide to Google Docs for Higher Ed

If you have been wondering about Google Docs and what it can do for you, please join us for "Google @ School: Step by Step Guide to Google Docs for Higher Ed". Academic Technology is sponsoring this webinar presented by educator and instructional technology specialist, Cindy Lane (hosted by Higher Ed Hero,
Date: Thursday, August 6
Time: 1 to 2pm
Place: STC Room 137
Google Docs is one offering within the Google Apps for Education suite of applications. Mayes College has been using Google Apps for a year now to supplement their online educational technology and we are about to announce Google Apps for the University this fall. This webinar is a great way to get a preview of one of the most useful of the Google Apps.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Campus Technology 2009 Presentations (captured by Mediasite)

Campus Technology 2009 was recently held in Boston. It was touted as the best place to experience emerging Web 2.0 applications and "explore the latest technologies for navigating a world of social software and immersive platforms that will impact the ways in which we think about—and deliver—education for years to come."

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend but I was still able to experience some great keynote presentations thanks to lecture capture technology provided by Mediasite -- the same system we are about to install here at the University.

Here is a list of some of the presentations -- click on the links to bring up the full lecture including, audio, video and high resolution screens:

2009 07 campustech dede Update: First Wave of Campus Technology Presentations are Now Online

Emerging Interactive Media: Implications for Teaching and Research - abstract
Chris Dede, Harvard Graduate School of Education

21st Century Students: How Today’s Students Are Reshaping Technology - abstract
Jeff Keltner, Google, Inc.

Assessment in an Online Environment: Challenges and Opportunities - abstract
John Ittelson, The California State University, Monterey Bay; Helen Chen, Stanford University; Gary Brown, Washington State University; Michael Cottam, Rio Salado College

Bringing Student Web 2.0 “Stuff” to Campus Enterprise Systems and Why - abstract
Trent Baston, Campus Technology; Stuart Sim,

Five Elements of Exceptional Technology Enhanced Learning - abstract
Stephen Laster, Harvard Business School

Immersive Education: An Open Source, Collaborative Environment - abstract
Keith Rajecki, Solutions Architect, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

7 Things You Should Know About Lecture Capture

As we prepare to roll out lecture capture at the University using Mediasite, I'd like to bring your attention to a concise review of lecture capture from the Educause Learning Initiative:
Lecture capture is an umbrella term describing any technology that allows instructors to record what happens in their classrooms and make it available digitally. In its simplest form, lecture capture might be an audio recording made with an iPod; alternatively, the term might refer to a software capture program that records cursor movement, typing, or other on-screen activity. Lecture capture systems offer three important benefits: an alternative when students miss class; an opportunity for content review; and content for online course development. Lecture capture enhances and extends existing instructional activities, whether in face-to-face, fully online, or blended learning environments.
Read the complete article on 7 Things You Should Know about Lecture Capture (2 page PDF).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Smartpen "Pencast" Demo: Podcast Concept Map

I have been testing the Pulse Smartpen by Livescribe for several weeks now. This amazing device is a computer in a pen that also records audio while you take notes on special "dot paper". What a great way to document notes in a meeting (don't forget to ask permission to record audio) or take notes during a lecture. You can immediately play back the audio by tapping on your hand written notes -- listen using the built-in pen speaker or included ear buds. These special ear buds also have built-in binaural microphones so you can record stereo while you appear to just be listening to music! The pen even has an OLED display that can be used to display the results of calculations you tap out on a printed dot-paper calculator.

Impressive, but there is more. Back at your desk, you dock the pen to recharge and simultaneously sync your hand scribbles and audio to the Livescribe Desktop application on your PC or Mac. The desktop application organizes all your notes and even allows you to search your hand writing to locate a particular passage. Of course, you can play back your audio recordings by clicking your mouse anywhere on the images of your hand written notes.

As an extra bonus, you can share notes and audio with specific individuals or the public by uploading your recording sessions to the Livescribe Online Community site. Students can now take notes during class while recording the audio and share the "pencast" with their classmates -- a student note-taking service for the 21st Century!

To illustrate how this all works, I scribbled a concept map on how podcasting works. Of course it also illustrates a new way to teach and learn. The Pulse Smartpen is a great way for faculty to illustrate and animate concepts they used to draw on a blackboard and make it available to students with audio narration. See for yourself...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Learn How Villanova Uses Class Capture to Generate Revenue (captured by Mediasite)

I'd like to illustrate two points with one presentation...

Here is a link to a presentation by Dr. Seán O'Donnell, Director of Distance Education, College of Engineering at Villanova University. The real title of the presentation is "Recession Proof Lecture Capture: Using Mediasite to Turn Your Classroom into Cash." He discusses outcomes, both financial (ROI) and educational.

"Not long ago Villanova University’s College of Engineering faced mounting expenses, stagnant enrollment and the changing tide to offer degrees online. Sean O’Donnell, Director of Distance Education, saw an opportunity to use course capture to transform what was originally a small, regional graduate program into a national online success.

By launching an online lecture program via Mediasite, the College increased graduate enrollment by 50 percent and expanded their offerings to 4 fully online Master’s degrees with students in 35 states and four countries. The program that started with a $3,000 grant is now transformed into educational system that generates over $1 million in gross tuition, all without a single tuition or fee increase."

Of course, his presentation was capture with Mediasite, so it is a good example of the kind of high quality lecture capture with video that we'll be able to accomplish soon at USP (stay tuned).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Angel Overview Class (captured by Mediasite)

We were very fortunate to have Phyllis Blumberg arrange for Jeff Swain of Penn State University to deliver the Angel faculty training session this January. We captured the morning session using Mediasite and made this high quality video, audio and screen capture file available here:

The Devil's in the Details of Angel - Morning Plenary: ANGEL Overview

Mediasite is one of several class capture technologies that I have been evaluating for Mayes College. The link above is hosted at Mediasite. We hope to have our own Mediasite class capture technology available at USP soon.

I am a proponent of system wide class capture to improve student retention, satisfaction and recruitment through greater student academic achievement, and to extend the reach of on-ground classes to create new programs and markets.

Investing in Academic Technology

The administration of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia has recently committed to investing in e-learning by creating a new Department of Academic Technology. I am honored to serve as the department's new executive director. Besides pulling together a new department, one of my first goals is to help consolidate support services for desktop PCs, academic applications, classroom technology and the learning management system (Angel). We plan to have a new help website established in time for the fall semester featuring live 24/7 help via phone and chat, a new frequently asked questions (FAQ) database and other self-help resources.

Other goals include building a more robust e-learning platform offering more online options that will allow students to learn, study and interact with fellow students and faculty, at any time and any place. Significant new training opportunities will also be made available to help faculty and staff take advantage of new web-based collaboration and teaching tools.

Stay tuned to this space for academic technology news and tips about making the most of the University's online teaching and learning resources.

Rodney B. Murray, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Academic Technology